Harcus Sinclair UK has applied for a group litigation order in claims against Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda arising out of the emissions scandal.
It is the first group litigation order sought in relation to the scandal on behalf of consumers in England and Wales.
Damon Parker, head of litigation at Harcus Sinclair, said: “We have paved the way for consumers who trusted but were let down by VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda to seek redress through our Courts.
“It is only right that UK car owners affected by the scandal have the opportunity to seek compensation.
“We have secured funding so that those affected can bring this claim against VW at no cost to themselves.
“The group action aims to ensure that, if VW is found to have misled consumers about the environmental damage caused by their cars, they are penalised accordingly so as to discourage this sort of behaviour from happening again.”
A group litigation order is the Court’s mechanism for handling claims involving a large number of claimants who share the same complaint. The application for the group litigation order will be heard in the High Court on January 30, 2017.
The key allegation is that the affected cars should not have been certified as fit for sale because it is alleged that they produced higher levels of NOx emissions than the rules allowed.
It is also alleged that the affected vehicles only passed official emissions tests because their engines were fitted with a 'defeat device' which reduces NOx emissions under test conditions.
In the interest of securing the best outcome for as many car owners in England and Wales who have been affected by the scandal, Harcus Sinclair is collaborating with law firms including Slater and Gordon. Harcus Sinclair will be the lead solicitor on the record at Court and responsible for instructing Counsel and preparing and filing of court documents, directing overall litigation strategy and reporting to claimants on the progress of the claim.
Jacqueline Young, head of group litigation at Slater and Gordon, said: “VW has shown utter contempt, not just for the rights and health of their UK consumers but also for the environment. This legal action is the best opportunity that British customers will have for holding VW to account over this scandal.”
Current or previous owners of cars affected by the scandal can seek redress by joining the legal action at www.vwemissionsaction.com.
Affected cars include VW, Audi, SEAT and Skoda vehicles with 1.2, 1.6 and 2.0 EA 189 diesel engines manufactured between 2009 and 2015. The value of the compensation sought is estimated to be in the region of several thousand pounds per car. There is no cost to joining the legal action.